How to Make a Brick Fireplace Look New

Updated March 23, 2017

Stately brick fireplaces are meant to be the focal point of any room they are in. The brick fireplace will be the first thing to draw people's attention when they enter the room. Make sure your brick fireplace is drawing people's attention because it is clean and gorgeous, not because it is tired and dirty looking. It will be a dirty, tiresome task, but you can make your old brick fireplace look new and inviting again. Try these tips to scrub new life into the bricks, and you'll find your visitors exclaiming over how wonderful your fireplace looks.

Burning wood in a fireplace will leave black soot and grime in the burning area. If you burn wood, clean out all of the ashes and scrub the inside. If the bricks still appear discoloured and soot marked, paint the inside black, using a fire and heat resistant paint.

Vacuum the outside of the brick fireplace. Use a hose attachment and a soft brush attachment. Vacuum the entire outer surface to remove as much dust as you can from all of the bricks and the grout lines between them.

Fill a container with a mixture of 1 cup apple cider vinegar for every half gallon of warm water. Use a scrub brush that is the right size to immerse into the container of water. Dunk the brush to get it wet and scrub a small section of the bricked area.

Wipe the scrubbed area with an old, absorbent section of towel as you work. Rinse the towel in the water and vinegar mixture frequently and wring it out to keep mopping up the excess water as you scrub.

Change the water and vinegar mixture as it gets dirty. Depending on how dirty the brick work is, you may have to change the solution numerous times for the first cleaning. If an area is exceptionally dirty, scrub it and let it set and soak a few minutes before you wipe the water back up.

Rinse the entire fireplace after you are done scrubbing it with the vinegar solution. Fill the container with clean warm water. Wet a clean section of old towel in the water and wring it out. Wipe the bricks down, one small section at a time. Rinse the towel frequently. Change the water if it continues to get dirty.


Add a few drops of your favourite essential oil fragrance to the final rinse water. This will mask the vinegar smell, and add a nice fragrance to the room. A quick fix is to just paint the entire fireplace but clean exposed brick work is so much grander!


The vinegar smell will be strong at first so be sure to ventilate the room. Don't worry, the smell doesn't linger long. Wear rubber gloves to protect your hands from the bricks surface while scrubbing.

Things You'll Need

  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Rubber gloves
  • Old sections of towels
  • Scrub brush
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About the Author

Donna Thacker has been a writer/photographer for over 15 years. She held the position of associate editor/writer/photographer at Biker Ally Magazine. She currently is a photojournalist for The Biking Life, and has been featured on the front page of The Greenville Advocate, The Hillsboro Journal and The Sorento News. Thacker also designed and published several booklets of historical interest for local organizations.